MOSCOW, October 12 (RAPSI) — The level of protection of the rights of persons with disabilities has increased significantly over the past 10 years, nevertheless, the pandemic has exacerbated some problems faced by such people, according to Russian Rights Commissioner Tatiana Moskalkova. 

The tasks as to the protection of the rights of persons with disabilities are well represented on the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. States must ensure comprehensive coverage of such people with health services, ensure that they have equal access to education, employment, are able to actively participate in socio-economic and political life. The world community is making great efforts to protect the rights of these people. And those who remember the world 10 years ago can testify to how the situation in this area has changed, Moskalkova said speaking at the V International Conference of Ombudsmen of Eurasia.

At the same time, the Ombudsman stressed that problems faced by people with disabilities continue to persist and this became especially obvious during the pandemic.

According to the Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of the achievements of the past two decades for such people, Moskalkova noted. Nevertheless, she would not join a completely pessimistic assessment of the situation, the Rights Commissioner stressed, although it was necessary to note that the pandemic really revealed difficulties for people with disabilities: complete isolation, lack of access to food and medicine, because they cannot leave their houses, and the growth of poverty. It was difficult for people with disabilities to collect documents in order to re-register their disability status, the Ombudsman observed.

According to Moskalkova, in these conditions, the thesis formulated at the UN level about the need to search for innovative solutions in protecting the rights of persons with disabilities becomes especially significant.

The Russian Ombudsman said that her Office, as well as regional ombudsmen, receives a large number of appeals from people with disabilities and those seeking to defend their rights.

This year alone the Rights Commissioner received more than 1,650 complaints and appeals from citizens of this category. Most often they apply for social support, housing, accessibility and quality of medical care, medical and social examination, provision of technical means of rehabilitation and employment, Moskalkova said.